Sleepaway Camp Saga Continued Continued

This weekend I made another gruesome discovery. I was at the beach with my family, and after a day of sun and sand, I returned to the hotel to take a shower. I collected all my toiletries to bring into the bathroom, and it was then that I opened the soap case I’d previously packed for my son to take to camp. Inside I found the new bar of soap I’d placed in there before he left still in its original pristine condition – full size, perfect rectangular shape, free of grit, marks and dents. It had never in the course of two weeks been touched. He’d told me he’d used the showers while he was away, but apparently he’d never once used soap.

Panic-stricken I whipped around, holding the soap case out toward him. “What exactly did you washed with?”

“Shampoo.” He shrugged. What was my problem?

I guess I should be happy about that.

The real problem now, though, is I still have not received my son’s clothes from camp. We’re going on two weeks now. Even if they had mailed it out at the cheapest possible rate like turtle-express, wouldn’t it have gotten here by now? Did they lie to me? Are they trying to steal my son’s fine collection of Minecraft t-shirts? What is going on? WHY WON’T THEY GIVE US OUR USED AND POSSIBLY SMELLY CLOTHES BACK?

Remember how I found the clothes on the camp website when the camp told me they couldn’t find them, and I had to direct them to their own lost & found page with the picture of his clothes LABELED with his name because I listen to instructions and labeled every Goddamn thing that went into that suitcase? Well, somehow that wasn’t enough to get the clothes returned to me. I called the camp up the other day to see what the hell the hold up was because my son has no clothes other than the ones he was wearing the day he came home. When I explained the situation, the woman on the phone said she would look into it. She didn’t inspire much confidence, and I was starting to think we may never see those clothes again, but when she got back to me she said she had located them, which was good because I had already located them a while ago. The only thing was payment had to be arranged to mail them out. I was like nobody said anything to me about payment. The last I heard the guy was going to mail them to me. So I guess now I know why they were holding his entire summer wardrobe hostage.

“About how much is that going to run me?” I asked. She said she didn’t know but started talking about checks and credit cards and such for payment.

“Well, when you find out the cost you can let me know.”

“We can do it that way if that’s how you want to work it,” she said. How the hell else would I work it? How am I supposed to pay for something if I don’t know how much it is? Now I’m getting a little pissed because while this mishap isn’t entirely the camp’s fault, I feel they had a hand in it, but they expect me to pay for it all. Plus, they’ve had his clothes for close to a month. Summer’s over now. So I said, “This is his whole wardrobe. How was he allowed to leave camp without anyone checking he had his clothes?”

“Well, the pile doesn’t look that big.”

He’s a boy, I thought. He doesn’t need that many clothes. So then I don’t know what the hell they have of his or if I was ever getting them back. If mailing costs 20 bucks no problem. If it’s a hundred bucks, I can just get him a couple of new t-shirts or wait until next year when he’s outgrown everything and get him a new wardrobe then.

I never heard back from the camp. I was starting to make peace with the fact that I might never see his clothes again when the UPS truck pulled up in front of my house. I rushed to the door, breathless. The guy came around the truck carrying a sizable brown cardboard box. There written on the side were the words I’d been longing to see. “YMCA Camp.”

They came. They came. I didn’t pay for them, but they came just the same!

“Your clothes are back!” I screamed. “Thank God almighty. They’re back.”



Sleepaway Camp Saga Continued

We never did hear from Crazy while he was at sleep away camp, but when I went to the camp to pick him up at the end of the two weeks, he was in fact still alive and quite happy. We loaded up his stuff and drove home with him telling me about all the fun he had. A few days later when I opened up his suitcase, I found that ALL his clothes were missing. The only clothes he brought back were the ones he was wearing the day I picked him up. I asked him what happened to his clothes, and he said, “I don’t know.”

“What do you MEAN you don’t know?” How could he not know what he did with his clothes? Did they just evaporate?

Ahh, but that’s Crazy.

Then I noticed the laundry bag I’d packed was also missing. I figured he put his clothes in the bag and somehow left it at camp. Don’t the counselors do a once through before the kids leave? I wondered. I mean how do they not check the cabin to make sure nothing’s been left behind before the kids go home for good? Maybe the bag got kicked under the bed, and nobody saw it. I don’t know, but I’ve given this a lot of thought because that was his entire summer wardrobe, which I had just purchased because he’d grown out of everything he owned from last year. Good thing I left 1 pair of shorts home so now he has 2 pairs of shorts to wear for the rest of the summer.

When you send your kid to sleepaway camp, and he returns without any of his clothes. By @OneFunnyMotha
At least he had fun.

I called the camp to ask about the missing clothes, and when I explained the situation, the woman there said they post pictures of Lost & Found objects on their Facebook page. I was like, “Well, I haven’t been checking your fecking Facebook page because my kid’s not in camp anymore.” But I didn’t say that. The woman said she hadn’t come across the missing clothes, but she took my number in case his summer wardrobe turned up.

“Thanks,” I said, hung up, and immediately logged onto their Facebook page where I feverishly scrolled through their pictures, and what do you know? I FOUND his clothes. They’re all folded up in a clear plastic bag (with a pillow I didn’t even know was missing), and labeled with is name. Still, somehow the camp is unaware of this. “It’s right there! It’s right there!” I shouted, but no one at the camp knows, and they couldn’t hear me shout into the computer. As I stared at the screen, my son’s belongings almost within reach, I wondered how the camp could not know? There’s like 2,000 missing articles of clothing all labeled with my son’s name because I actually followed to the camp instructions and sharpied every single object right down to the flashlight he put in his suitcase.

Now I have to inform the camp that they do in fact have his clothes. I wrote on the Facebook page and leave it at that, figuring someone will give me a call now that the clothes have been found.

Later that day I do get a call. It’s one of the counselors. He said, “We couldn’t find the clothes.”

“They’re on your Facebook page! I found them.”

“Oh, I’ll have to check with the woman who posts those photos.”

“Yeah, why don’t you do that.” But I didn’t say that. A little while later he calls back, and says they’re mailing the stuff out. So long story long, we’re getting the clothes back! Oh, and I think I figured out the mystery of what happened to them. When I found the photo on the Facebook page, the label or caption said something about laundry service. I knew the camp had laundry service, but you had to register and pay for it. We never did. Someone must have asked Crazy if he wanted to use the laundry service, and he was like, “Sure, you can wash my clothes.” Wonder how much that’s gonna cost me.

MIA at Summer Sleepaway Camp

So we sent Crazy to sleep-away camp a little over a week ago, and we’ve been without communication ever since. The kids weren’t allowed to bring their cell phones, which I wholeheartedly endorsed and which enticed me to send him in the first place, but I figured during the two-weeks’ time he was away he’d be able to call home at some point. We’ve gotten one phone call, but that was from a camp counselor the day after we dropped him off just letting us know everything was going smoothly. Evidently, and I didn’t know this because I’m unfamiliar with camp ethos, the kids aren’t allow communication with their parents except for writing letters. Which NEVER CAME. Not that I’m hurt.

In place of phone calls the camp posts photos daily on its Facebook page, but the page consists of about 500 unedited pictures in no particular order, and you have to scroll through to see if you can spot the back of your kid’s head in the bottom left-hand corner of the 405th photo.

When your kid goes MIA at Summer Sleepaway Camp

Apparently, Crazy’s camera shy because I’ve only found him in about 3 photos, two of which were from the first two days so I don’t know if he’s still alive. The camp advised parents to pack stationary with stamps, which I dutifully did, but nothing from my sweet baby boy has arrived yet. The past few days I’ve raced to the front door the moment I heard the mail shoved through the slot. Yesterday I was certain a little envelope would be there addressed in barely legible handwriting to me, but still nothing. The little brat hasn’t written me once. Parents are allowed to send email to the camp, which the counselors will then deliver to the kids. I’ve written to him every day. Mostly my emails are filled with questions asking why he hasn’t written me yet. This has not produced the desired result. I wish the camp had mandatory letter writing time because that would be the only way to get Crazy to pick up a pen. I know his silence is probably a good sign. He must be busy having fun, but two weeks is a long time to go without any form of communication with your child. I just want confirmation he’s having fun, that he likes it there, that he’s not home sick. Am I just supposed to take the counselor’s word for it? How do I know he’s not lying? His job is to make sure the kids have fun. Of course he’s going to say that. I’m no fool.

Before we left Crazy at the camp, I even quizzed him as to whether he knew our complete address. Remarkably he did, but I wrote it down for him anyway just in case. Maybe today’s the day I’ll get a letter. A mom can hope.

I don’t know how typical this is because I’ve never sent a kid off to camp before. I suspect it’s fairly typical, but I still want to know if I should be mad at him right now because I’m a little mad. Or should I just be happy he’s probably having fun although there’s no way for me to know because he’s never written me?

I finally contacted the mom of the friend he went with to see if her son ever wrote her because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t the only mother who’s son didn’t love her anymore, and thankfully she never received correspondence either. I was so relieved. BUT she did say she sent her son 2 care packages while he was gone. I’m like, Care packages? I didn’t know I was supposed to be sending care packages. They went to camp not college. And only for 2 weeks. By the time he received the care package, I would be at camp picking him up. Plus, what would I even put in the care package? The kids aren’t allowed to have candy or electronics, and those are the only things he cares about. So no care packages from me. But that’s ok because I never received a letter from him.

I guess we’re square.